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Embracing uncomfortableness

Here's what I strongly believe in Be comfortable about yourself but put yourself in uncomfortable situations. I am writing this post as I pack my things to move to a new apartment. I have stayed in the current apartment for more than 4 years now. It was almost perfect home with all the amenities and comfort. But as things in life go, change hits you sooner than later.  Right from the day I was born, I have moved to a different city ever three years. My father's job required us to constantly be on the move. Sometimes, we moved to different states in India which meant new languages, new environment, new set of friends and totally different culture. It was never easy to adapt. I have tried to resist change for a long time now. Humans, I learn, prefer status quo. It makes us uncomfortable to accept change as it brings a range of negative emotions from anxiety to fear. Ironically, our ancestors have lived nomadic way of life up until the revolution in agriculture. So, I assume this
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What's the ROI of a fountain?

As I was passing by on a tram, I noticed a fountain that was elegant and pleasing to my eyes. It was on private land and maintained by a private individual or an organization. It made me ponder - what's the ROI of a fountain? Let's break it down into details of the costs involved.    Land needed to place it. You need money to build and install it.  Electricity needed to pump water throughout the day. Water itself. Regular cleaning and maintenance: motor replacement, cleaning etc. So, it is not cheap and what makes it worse is that there is no way to measure the return on investment. Unlike building a house or buying a car, it offers no real benefits. It is beautiful to look at and lets you spend a few minutes of the day staring at it. That leads me to a deeper question - are fountains a way to get us closer to nature - water sources in particular? Do they meet some kind of inherent need for a human being to be closer to the sound, the smell and the feeling of running water

Buying new vs buying used

I have had this dilemma whenever I plan to buy something - should I buy a new one or a used one. I had this predicament recently when I wanted to purchase a phone. Phones have gotten expensive - iphone 14 costs almost 900 euros and that's just the basic version. I prefer flagships primarily because they have a long shelf life when compared to a mid-ranger.  Use iphones is a huge marketplace. There are tonnes of reputable stores and sites that offer discounted used phones with 2 years warranty so, there isn't much risk attached to it. It sounds practical because you end up saving 200-300 euros on the same model.  I spent 3 weeks thinking about this and arguing with myself about pros and cons of a refurbished device and a brand new one. Finally, I came up with a solution that will eventually help me for future purchases as well. "Buy new if it is a personal thing, buy used if it is not-personal" For example, phone is a personal thing, so are clothes and laptop. They all

Moving to iphone after 15 years on Android

 I bought a new phone - the iphone 14. It's been 2 weeks now and I have mixed feelings about the device.  What's great? The video, battery life, build quality. What's bad? ios16, photos, lack of headphone jack, expandable memory. Video is exceptional, especially cinematic mode and action mode. I no longer need a gimbal because the video stabilization software works out of the box and works great.  When I don't use heavily, the battery lasts for 2 solid days. Otherwise, I find myself charging every other day when I spend my time watching videos and using social media apps. I love the colors and the build quality. Sadly, I wrapped it up in a case to protect it from damages. I am using ios from the first time and it is quite frustrating honestly. Somehow Apple has managed to make me do 2 steps for things that need just 1 step. Android is great in this regard. I sorely miss the back button because the back functionality in ios can be on top right, top left or at the bottom.

How the hell should I use Linkedin?

Besides ignoring unsolicited requests and messages from recruiters, I don't know how to use Linkedin. Don't get me wrong, I still have an active account and login every now and then to see what's new but, I don't really understand how to use this strange social network. Each social network has its own purpose of existence. Facebook is to connect with family and friends, Instagram is to share pictures, Tiktok for short videos and so on. Linkedin lacks purpose. It positions itself to be like Facebook for your office life but fails miserably.  People lie, boast, exaggerate and worst of all, share cringey posts. Now you can argue that it is true for other social media sites as well, but it feels awkward when a suit donning guy or a CEO of a company does that. It is a large echo chamber where everyone is patting everyone else. There is no counter arguments and no disapproval because everyone fears the outcome - "what if my colleagues or boss sees my comment?". Ther

Why I chose Blogger over Medium, Substack and Wordpress

I wanted to blog again and decided to pick a platform that was focused on writing and nothing else. I have tried several blogging platforms in the past but I chose Blogger this time around.  I will tell you why I skipped the ones listed below. Medium I am not sure when it will shut down. The platform started great with minimalist design, great fonts, ease of writing and sharing. But writing there was always controversial. Over the years, several publications have moved away from the platform to other competing platforms or have decided to host content on their own. Last year, CEO of Medium admitted that the site is not doing that well which puts the future of the platform at risk. Substack The is new kid on the platform is a great starting point for most people. It takes care of email newsletters and provides you an eager audience for your content. I tried couple of times to write there but my issue with Substack is that it demands consistency. When a reader subscribes to your blog, he

What happened to those popular school kids?

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. This cannot be better explained than looking at the current state of your peers who were quite popular in school. For most of us, that weren't outstanding in any domain during the childhood, these popular kids were the pinnacle of success. Popularity is not limited to academia - it could be sports, communication, leadership, ability to make friends, setting trends, winning prizes and so on. There is always a group of kids in school and college that are more successful and popular than others. How did it feel to be average and mediocre during those days. It sucked! People like me were just followers akin to an audience in a concert that has an identity as group but not as an individual. Take out one of us from the group and it would make no difference. Add 10 more, and the result would be the same. Popular kids are like salt in a dish, if you don't have them, you notice it instantly. The popular kids made our choices look bad. I don't blame

Why it is becoming harder to choose a phone

Few years ago, while shopping for my wife's phone, we walked into a store, checked out a few mobile phones, liked one and then paid the amount. It took us about 20 minutes for the entire thing. Choosing a phone was easy - physical stores had an array of collection and models were limited. Nobody cared so much about specs or the weight or the display brightness.  Fast forward to today in 2023, I  have spent almost 3 weeks now trying to decide the best mobile to purchase. Here's why: Too many models  - There about 1000 mobile phone launches every year. Some companies launch 2 versions of the same model in the same year. How on earth can one decide which one to buy? Too many reviews - Youtube and tech blogs review almost every new phone that lands in the market. The more you watch and read, the harder it becomes to pick one because let's face it. I don't want to make a $800 mistake. Lack of physical stores - Most phones are listed online. I wanted to select iphone 13 so, I

Something that I have started to believe in

After several weeks of contemplation, I came up with this. Instead of living you life like you have something to win, live your life like you have nothing to lose A lot of pressure and stress in our daily lives is not living up to our/others' standards. Right from the childhood, we have been told to chase wins - be it the grades in school, the job you should get, the person you need to be, the promotion you need to get etc.  What I noticed is that besides stress, I started to take fewer risks in life - keeping your mouth shut in meetings, passing newer opportunities, ignoring the unorthodox paths etc. And inspite of having done all, when you get rejected, the whole house comes crashing down.  But, when you have nothing to lose, you have nothing to lose. I now take more risks, talk more often in meetings, have let go of my hesitation and feeling absolutely no stress at all. The feeling in surreal!  I wish this was taught me 20 years ago.